SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego federal judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit seeking reunification of parents and their children separated at the border Friday urged the parties to get moving on proposed settlement agreement which would give parents a second chance at presenting their asylum claims, despite the possibility that some class members might object.
"This is a very detailed, well thought-out proposal," U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said during a weekly status conference. "It seems like no stone was left unturned. We ought to move forward as quickly as possible."
Sabraw told the plaintiffs and the government to submit a joint report for preliminary approval of the settlement.
Under the proposed agreement, parents who failed an initial interview to determine if they had "credible fear" to return to their home country, but who are still in the United States, would be granted a new interview.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the class-action lawsuit earlier this year seeking reunification of parents and their children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Plaintiffs argued that parents couldn't reasonably participate in credible fear interviews as their children were being forcibly taken from them.
In the proposal, the Trump administration does not agree to bring back deported parents to the United States, but such requests -- which the plaintiffs said would be rare -- could be raised on a case by case basis.
Under the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, thousands of families were separated at the border during a three-month period.
Sabraw in June ordered families to be reunited, but more than 400 children remain in federal custody after being separated from their parents.
The settlement agreement would address the process to provide asylum seekers with a chance to seek the benefit. If either a parent or a child passes the credible fear interview, the family would not be subject to immediate removal from the U.S.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Stewart said the government was optimistic that all deported parents in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador could be contacted with questions about possible reunification with their children.
Aided by diminishing winds, fire crews expanded the containment line around the deadly Woolsey Fire on Thursday, while more evacuation orders were lifted and a firefighter was recovering in a hospital after being run over by a vehicle while sleeping.
Each week, the News 8 Crimefighters help authorities in looking for fugitives in San Diego. This week’s fugitive is: Jennifer Michelle Kidd
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
The strong winds we saw this week left a mess in some parts of the county - including at a very special horse-riding facility in Ramona.
Five nurses from Scripps Health, who are part of a medical response team, are traveling to Northern California to care for the people affected by the Camp Fire.
A transient accused of repeatedly burglarizing the office of a South Bay community group before torching the premises last week pleaded not guilty Thursday to a slew of charges including arson of a structure, grand theft and burglary.
A 52-year-old professional photographer was arrested this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a modeling session in Carlsbad, authorities reported Thursday.
A man who pushed a 93-year-old woman through a screen door and onto a concrete deck in Oceanside -- leading to her death 11 days later -- was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder and elder abuse causing great bodily injury.